Wednesday 16 September 2015, Rossa Minogue

What’s so great about happiness?

Podcast: Rob Lyons speaks to philosopher Piers Benn about what it means to be happy and whether it should be the aim of policy.

Happiness is increasingly considered a proper measure of social progress and a goal of public policy. Organisations from the UN to international think-tanks rank countries according to their ‘gross national happiness’: an apparently ‘more human measure’ than gross domestic product. But might not less pleasant feeling like misery, guilt and fury be rational reactions to awful realities or wrongdoing? On the other hand, the conviction there is such a thing as a meaningful and fulfilled life is common to many religious and non-religious philosophies and ought to have appeal. To whom – if anyone - should we look for advice?

In this podcast, Rob Lyons speaks to philosopher Piers Benn ahead of his session at the upcoming Battle of Ideas called A trivial pursuit: is happiness good for you?

To find out more about this year’s festival and buy tickets visit the Battle of Ideas website.

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